Google Moves Its Hangouts API Out Of Preview

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Google has been very conservative about releasing APIs for Google+ and may not even release a full read/write API for its social network before the end of this year. The one API the Google+ team has put its weight behind, though, is the Hangouts API, which gives developers access to Google+’s video chat features. Today, the company announced that it is taking this API out of preview. This means developers can now launch and share their hangout apps with the Google+ community. To launch this feature, Google has partnered with a number of developers, including Aces HangoutCacooScoot & DoodleSlideshare and Clubhouse Challenge by Bravo.

A simple click on the Google+ hangout button on these sites opens up a standard Google Hangout with the respective application running inside the same window. You can now also find these apps in the new “Apps” pane in Google+ Hangouts.

Google is rolling this feature out right now, so it may take a bit before it becomes available in your account.

Google, which has been struggling to get users to adopt Google+ as a social network, has long been pushing these video chats as a differentiating feature for its service. It’s not clear how much adoption this feature has seen on Google+ itself (even as video chats become more common, most people still feel very self-conscious on camera, after all). By effectively decoupling hangouts from the social networking aspects of Google+, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of productivity apps and games will adopt this feature now. Google, as far as I can see, isn’t charging developers for this tool and adding video chat tends to be a costly feature for developers.

Frederic Lardinois founded SiliconFilter in 2011. Before starting this site, he wrote about 1,500 articles for ReadWriteWeb. His areas of interest are consumer web and mobile apps, as well as Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters. You can reach him at [email protected]

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